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Duplicate Content Checker

Duplicate Content Checker: Brief Summary

A duplicate content checker is a tool that can be used to check whether or not content has been previously published. This means checking for exact duplicates of the content in question, but also checking for content that bears too close of a resemblance as well. Most commonly, this means comparing a piece of text with other text that has been published online, but it can also involve using internal databases and other similar methods too.

Users might turn to a duplicate content checker for a number of different purposes, but it is perhaps most commonly associated with efforts to detect plagiarism. However, duplicate content checkers can also be used to enhance SEO efforts. For instance, it could prevent instances where content is phrased in a way that is too similar to something that has already been published, which can potentially reduce visibility on search engine results pages.

Duplicate Content Checker: Detailed Summary

Duplicate content can be described as a piece of content that has already been published elsewhere, or which appears on another website or web page. This could be an exact replica of another piece of content, or it could be a piece of content that contains similar phrasing. Content can be considered a duplicate, regardless of whether the two pieces of content were created by the same author. It is also worth noting that duplicate content is penalised by search engines.

A duplicate content checker is an online tool or a software solution, which is designed to detect duplicate content. This can allow authors to find instances where their work has been plagiarised, or to avoid accidental plagiarism of their own through wording things too similarly to another piece of content, but it can also help online marketers to avoid situations where their web pages are penalised, harming visibility on search engine results pages.

Google’s algorithms are designed to penalise duplicate content for a number of reasons. Firstly, the algorithms help to discourage the practices of plagiarism or article spinning. On top of this, Google does not want to present users with multiple search results that say the same things in the same way, as this affects the user experience. For this reason, it is important to avoid instances of duplicate content, even if it is not created intentionally.

Additionally, such a tool can be invaluable to any website or blog owner that publishes content regularly, because it can help to avoid accusations of plagiarism. In the worst cases, plagiarism can result in legal action and/or significant damage to a website’s reputation, and a publisher may even be held responsible for someone else’s work.

Depending on the intended use, different duplicate content checkers will function in different ways. Online methods will often use Google’s index to search the web for similar content, while some solutions feature internal databases. As an example, in education settings, duplicate content checkers are able to compare a student’s work with previously submitted essays, helping institutions to identify instances of academic misconduct.

In some cases, duplicate content checkers automatically add text to their own database after each check is performed. This has the dual benefits of helping to enhance the quality of future plagiarism checks, and also providing authors with evidence of when their content was created. That can be important for resolving disputes where two content creators both claim to have created and published the original piece of content that has been duplicated.

Duplicate Content Checker Types and Examples

Duplicate content checkers can be broadly divided into two main types: internal duplicate content checkers and external duplicate content checkers. With the former, the checks for duplicate content will only run on the same website, and this can be helpful for avoiding situations where content is published multiple times, or where content may harm SEO objectives. With the latter, the checks for duplicate content extend to other websites and, potentially, other sources too.

In terms of the main examples of duplicate content checking solutions, the following are all popular options:

  • Copyscape – Perhaps the best-known duplicate content checker, Copyscape is an online service designed to check whether identical or similar content has been published on the world wide web. It can be used to detect plagiarism, accidental duplicate content, or content that is phrased in a similar way to existing content.
  • Turnitin – Primarily used in academic settings, such as colleges and universities, Turnitin is a plagiarism detector, which checks content against existing online content, as well as the content that has been added to its own database. Essays and other content checked through Turnitin are automatically added to the database, preventing instances where a student uses the same essay as another student, even years after the original submission.
  • CopyGator – The CopyGator duplicate content checker works in a slightly different way and is primarily aimed at bloggers. Essentially, it monitors an RSS feed and alerts bloggers if their content is republished on another blog. In addition to helping to detect unauthorised plagiarism, the free service can also help bloggers to identify instances where their content has been quoted or cited by other bloggers in original content.
  • Grammarly – The Grammarly plagiarism detector compares content against 16 billion web pages, as well as the ProQuest databases, which include newspapers, scholarly articles and other published texts. It is an online, web-based service, which can be used from within a web browser, and the service is also free. In addition, it integrates with other Grammarly services, allowing text to be checked for spelling, grammar and other writing issues too.

Possible Problems With Duplicate Content Checkers

Although plagiarism software and duplicate content checkers can be extremely useful, they are not entirely without flaws. One of the biggest problems is that the software is not able to distinguish between plagiarised content and content that has been quoted, with appropriate citation. This can mean that content is flagged for duplicate content, or the duplicate content score shows as high, even when the author has behaved in an acceptable way.

Moreover, one of the biggest problems is that duplicate content checkers tend to be limited by the size of their own database and the limitations of using the Google index. There are certain web pages, which are not included in this Google index, and there may be publications which are not part of the database. This can mean that plagiarism may go undetected, or that an internal check for duplicate content may miss certain results.

Nevertheless, these limitations are fairly minor, and duplicate content checkers are generally considered reliable for most purposes. They will be able to check a large number of sources at once, producing swift results. However, some human involvement is usually required in the process, in order to distinguish between quotations and plagiarism.


Publishing duplicate content can produce a number of problems, ranging from accusations of plagiarism, through to adversely affecting a website’s visibility on search engines. Additionally, if you are a content creator yourself, it can be useful to have a means of detecting instances where other people have plagiarised your content, or quoted your content. For these reasons, having access to a duplicate content checker, like Copyscape, can be highly beneficial.

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